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South Africa Struggles With Inequality

Photo: Cyril Ramaphosa - President of South Africa


Perspective:

Death the equalizer makes no difference …

The scars of the now outlawed Apartheid system of racial segregation thrives in South Africa extending to now burials. Those with money can bury their loved ones in designer burial spots. These boutique memorial Parks are well manicured and there is round the clock security. Public cemeteries are run down with crimes like rape and other atrocities occur there.

Inequality The Reality …

A shocking 10 percent of post Apartheid South Africans control 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. The other 60 percent control 10 percent only. This applies to the ownership of farms and other real estate holdings. Will this change in our lifetime?

Law

Photo: Cyril Ramaphosa – President of South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa, the newly elected head of the post Apartheid State is destined to change the lot of deprived South Africans. A new law is being enacted to tackle this inequality. A number of the ordinary man in the street, commonly referred to as natives, think the process of redistribution of land etc. is taking far too long. The authorities have to put a lid on unrest so there can be social harmony. The social safety net cannot be ignored for the masses indefinitely. Actio has to be taken.

Zimbabwe Model

Formerly White Rule Rhodesia …

The former white rule colony, then Rhodesia was faced with a similar challenge when things change there. The new leaders took matters in their own hands. Now known as Zimbabwe, they adopted what can be called the “Zimbabwe Model.” Revolutionary turned President Robert Mugabe confiscated property and redistributed same to the landless. The ripples of such a policy was devastating and lasting.

Mandela

(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

To confiscate property and redistribute same would in my perspective, be a serious betrayal of what Nelson Mandela stood for. Madiba the father of modern South Africa and its first post Apartheid president would not condone such a “rape.” As a lawyer he stood for the rule of law. In Zimbabwe under Mugabe their forcible redistribution of farm lands for example, was done and the results have been disastrous to their economy … once the most vibrant in africa is now in shambles. Inflation sky high and their currency in tatters. That is not the road to be taken, but regrettably this appears to have been the case.

Commentary

To lack sensitivity to the plight of deprived South Africans would be a grave abdication of responsible of the leadership in South Africa today. The dreams and aspirations of these disadvantaged citizens must be protected. Political power through democratic elections means winner takes all and the people must be the real beneficiaries of the spoils of conquest. The majority cannot be seen as only getting the crumbs from the white man’s table … as if it is the status quo under apartheid.

Mugabe did what he thought was best … does he have any regrets? What is your perspective?

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is SIC for Vision Newspaper Canada, a veteran journalist who has worked in various media markets internationally.

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